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1 Report Writing

Use a tried and proven format adopted by highly cited


science and engineering professionals.

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Note: For AE 417, we suggest


a section titled Experimental or
Equipment or Apparatus before
the Method or Procedure
section.

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Note: For AE 417, we suggest


inserting Figures, Tables, etc. at
the next space opportunity
within the text. So it reads like
a textbook

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AE 417 Suggested Report Format


Organization
Use these sections (or with similar appropriate name) in the following order. Name them in a
way that clearly and concisely describes their contents. Lab report weight indicated (%).
Title and Attribution (5%)
Abstract (10%)
Introduction or Theory or Background (20%)
Experimental or Equipment or Apparatus (10%)
Method or Procedure (10%)
Results (10%)
Discussion or Analysis (20%)
Conclusion (10%)
Acknowledgements
References
(5%)
Appendix
Consider a Table of Contents as necessary only for works containing many pages (e.g.,
textbook, thesis, etc.) which justify its usefulness for efficient information retrieval.
Text

Times New Roman font and just a few others are most widely used
Two character spaces at the end of each sentence (some say one space)
Single or 1 line spaces between lines; blank white space is ok
Full blank lines between paragraphs
Indent and/or justify paragraphs if you wish
Insert references in superscript1,3,5-9 or bracketed [1,3,5-9] format; sometimes we see
(J.J. Doe, 1991).

EXAMPLE
In order to keep the numerical simulations tractable, a 2-dimensional system will be investigated, simulating
only one ply of the structure. It will be show that this can be sufficient to capture the general behavior of the
structure during deformation. Thus, only one layer is simulated. The commercially available finite element
program ABAQUS1 is used.
Two approaches for modeling the woven structure are considered: (i) assume that the nodes meet in one plane
(flat structure); and (ii) assume more accurately the woven structure where the wires cross with an offset
of the dimension of the wire (woven structure). In the latter case, the (physical) nodes are connected with a
stiff beam element, simulating the connection [2,3-6]. In addition, two topological configurations are studied:
(1) with a diamond in the center, Fig. 5A; and (2) with a nodal point in the center, Fig. 5B. In all cases, threenode beam elements are used to simulate each truss-segment. Each truss element is modeled by 25 elements, to
capture the complicated deformation behavior of the structure. In each case, out-of-plane deformations are
prohibited, to simulate the support provided by surrounding plies. The boundary conditions are schematically
shown in Fig. 5.

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Figures And Tables

Figures (including plots) and tables should be clear, concise, and to the point
Insert them after being mentioned in the text at the next available space opportunity
In the text, refer to them as Fig. 1, Table 1 or Figs. 1-4, Tables 1-3
Indicate important observations with an arrow and brief text
Dont forget to label plot axes and indicate units (use the SI system for this class)
For all photographs, you must include some sort of size scaling
Figure captions appear below while table captions appear above

EXAMPLES

(a)

(b)

Member
5 mm

Fillet

1 mm

Figure 1. Type 304 stainless steel tetrahedral truss core and typical core-facesheet bond [6].

Figure 2. Shear response of tetrahedral truss core panels showing clear differences between the negative and
positive orientations [8].

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Table 1. Geometric parameters for three point bending panels [9].


Dimension (mm)

Parameter
Core height, Hc

9.80

Face sheet thickness, tf

0.75

Truss member length, Lc

12.2

Truss member width, w

1.26

Truss member thickness, t

0.59

Span length, S

202

Panel width, B

66

Equations

Insert them after being mentioned in the text at the next available space opportunity
Use Times New Roman Italic along with Symbol font for variables
Center all equations and number them to the right in the order they appear
All variables must be defined either in the text (as it flows) and/or in a separate
nomenclature section

EXAMPLE
The analysis begins with the specific impedance integral;

I S ( )d

(7)

where is a continuous impedance parameter and is non-dimensional time.

References
If you are unsure how to format a particular type of reference, look at a textbook or journal
article to see how professionals do it.
EXAMPLES
[13] C.H. Abester, Modern Finite Element Analysis In The Mechanics World, J. Comp. Methods, 6(1),
pp. 24-45 (1989).
[14] D.J. Sypeck, AE 416/417 AEROSPACE STRUCTURES AND INSTRUMENTATION Lecture Notes,
Laboratory Bulletins And Supplemental Information, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona
Beach, FL (2012).

Consider using [14] above as a reference for uncited printed course material. Most figures,
tables, etc. appearing in the course material are not original so please use the reference as
cited in the course material. Refrain from using improper references such as AE 416/417
Notes, Professors Lecture, AE 417 Lab, Graduate Assistant notes, and so forth.

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Common Issues

Incompletely reporting equipment and manufacturer information


the EA-13-240LZ-120/E straingage was obtained from Vishay MicroMeasurements (Raleigh, NC). not the straingage came from Vishay.

Describing disagreement between your values and other reported values as error
(the word error only makes sense when one knows the truth)
the percent difference between measured specific impulse and Estes (Penrose, CO)
reported values was not the percent error was

Changing format/font styles (often seen when groups compile report contributions)
Abstract
The acceleration of gravity, g, has been measured using a
Introduction
Acceleration caused by the gravitational attraction of the Earth, g,
not
Abstract
The acceleration of gravity, g, has been measured using a
Introduction
Acceleration caused by the gravitational attraction of the Earth g

Writing units by their full name or expressing them in plural form


mm not millimeter

m not ms

or even lb not lbs

Not inserting a space between numerical values and units


6.02 kg not 6.02kg

Using too many photographs (i.e., numerous equipment should be neatly arranged, a
single photograph is taken, inserted into the document with size scaling, then
creatively labeled with arrows and text)

Final Thoughts
Good reports are neat, organized, accurate, and error free (when a reader detects so much as a
single error, no matter how small, the quality of the entire work is under question).
Very good reports do not make the reader work too hard at understanding them, are
enjoyable to read, and stimulate much interest.
Excellent reports allow a reader to simply glance at the figures/tables alone and easily follow
the main theme. The text merely fills in details of what the pictures, data, and plots reveal.
This is often the mark of a world class article (major impact must also be there).
However, producing documents of this type takes artistic skill, time, patience, and much
practice
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